In the observance of The Feast of Passover, which begins at sundown tonight, we are reminded not only of how God delivered Israel from slavery in Egypt but of how He ultimately delivers all peoples and nations from “bondage.”
It is a most powerful and prophetic picture of the power of sacrificial blood…..and as such, both the shadow and the key to an understanding of the significance of Christ’s ministry as The Lamb of God… To ransom – in spiritual terms – a terminally-sick, hopelessly impoverished, doomed humanity.
It is a mission, encapsulated in the most simple and beautiful way by the Prophet, Isaiah:
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given”
In this very first line of Isaiah’s well-known account of the birth, rule and reign of the promised Messiah, we are presented with the mission of Christ, from cradle to Cross….. a mission that was to be but the first part of a 2-fold redemptive purpose, separated in time and space by millennia… and operating in the unseen dimensions of existence as well as the seen.
The Bible speaks very clearly of these 2 stages to Christ’s redemptive ministry; the first as the Lamb of God, the suffering servant “pierced for our transgressions” and the second, as (the yet to come) Lion of Judah, the triumphant (Messiah) King, recorded in the Book of Isaiah.
Understanding the relationship between these two distinct parts to the full Ministry and Mission of Christ is pivotal to understanding the full and complete purpose of the whole counsel of God. While the first part – a spiritual matter – required the perfect sacrifice, the concluding part – very much a physical matter – requires a triumphant King, appointed by the Creator Himself.
Thus, at Christ’s First Coming, prophesied and recorded in detail in over 300 separate verses of Scripture, the Messiah came to bring redemption to our souls….through His unique sacrifice – as the Lamb of God – for the sins of a world where, in the words of the prophet,
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
At His Second Coming– as the Lion of Judah – He will perform and complete the second stage of the Divine Purpose…..and fulfill the manifold prophecies of the Messiah King, as recorded in the Scriptures.
And so, shall the kingdoms of this world become “the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah” (Revelation 11:15)
No other “Rescue Plan” can do all that Christ alone was appointed before the beginning of time to do – to reverse the visible and invisible damage caused in a calamitous Fall from Grace; that would, in a word, save the world as no-one and nothing else can and usher mankind into the real “New Age” – an Age nowhere better recorded than in the account of the Prophet Isaiah, of the birth, rule and reign of the Lord of Lords and King of Kings:-
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of His government and peace there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom
Establishing it and upholding it with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.”
The “zeal” of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this, the Prophet asserts. The Hope and Promise of a True and Faithful God to a world of ever increasing need and burgeoning, heartrending distress.